Tennessee – a state where hopeless causes never die

You would think that following the US Supreme Court decision in 2015 outlawing bans on same-sex marriage, opponents would admit defeat and wait for their god to deliver the retribution to these sinners that these religious zealots long for. Not the Tennessee legislature. They are considering a law that would ban such marriages in their state.

Known as the “Tennessee Natural Marriage Defense Act,” the bill by Sen. Mark Pody, R-Lebanon, and Rep. Jerry Sexton, R-Bean Station, states that the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2015 decision to legalize same-sex marriage is void in Tennessee because the state has already passed its own law and constitutional amendment limiting marriage to one man and one woman.

The bill would prohibit government officials — presumably including clerks issuing marriage certificates — from giving recognizing any court ruling that affirms same-sex unions, and specifies they cannot be arrested for failing to comply with court orders that do so.

It would also require the Tennessee attorney general to defend the state’s law on marriage in any subsequent court challenge.

“The far right’s dream scenario is this would go back before the Supreme Court, and the Supreme Court would accept it,” said Chris Sanders, executive director of the Tennessee Equality Project, an LGBTQ rights advocacy group that has previously opposed the bill.

There is no way that this is going to succeed. In fact, you can predict the trajectory of events if this law is ever passed. You can be sure that the law will be challenged in federal court, a US District Court will strike down the law as violating the 2016 US Supreme Court decision, the Appeals Court will uphold that decision, and the US Supreme Court will not take up the case, seeing no point in reversing such a recent precedent and creating an uproar when public sentiment nationwide has accepted same-sex marriage.


  1. says

    Maybe if they spent so much effort worrying about their own marriages, there would be less of a drumbeat of conservative affairs and divorces. They ought to re-criminalize adultery, but only if it’s politicians.

  2. Lassi Hippeläinen says

    Tennessee should get back to biblical marriage, which is between a man and a woman, and her sister, and their female slaves. See Jacob, a.k.a. Israel.

  3. xohjoh2n says

    Ha. I doubt the sticking point would be on the constitutionality of same-sex marriages or bans thereof. (Though that might be there stated excuse.)

    You find me a single judge anywhere who will be happy to sign off on any law that says you are obliged to ignore a court order signed by a judge.

  4. jrkrideau says

    I was just listening to something on the radio about the measles outbreak in the state of Washington. An official was describing how contagious measles is.

    Is the outbreak of stupidity in Tennessee as contagious? I wonder if it could be a dormant virus from the Scopes days?

  5. Matt G says

    Traditional marriage is between one man and as many women as he can keep. When and why did we stray from that model?

    And as far as that one-man-one-women thing goes, certain birds are much better at it than humans are.

  6. xohjoh2n says


    Also penguins. (Which I assert do not morally count as birds.) And lobsters. Allegedly. But not ducks.

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